Cameron Johnson averaged 16.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists last season at North Carolina.

By Kaelen Jones
June 20, 2019

The Suns selected North Carolina forward Cameron Johnson with the No. 11 pick in the 2019 draft.

The Suns acquired the pick in a trade with the Timberwolves earlier on draft night. 

Johnson, listed 6'8" and 205 pounds, played two seasons at UNC after spending the first three of his collegiate career with Pittsburgh. He picked up first-team All-ACC honors following a standout senior campaign.

Johnson averaged 16.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game for the Tar Heels last year.

SI NBA draft expert Jeremy Woo’s breakdown:  Johnson enjoyed a fully-healthy, breakthrough season in which he emerged as UNC’s best player, sustaining an impressive 45% three-point clip and playing his way into the first-round conversation. Although he’s just turned 23, he’s developed that potentially elite trait and should be a readymade role player. Johnson is slender and not especially shifty, so he’ll have some limitations defensively, but his height and ability to get his jumper off should be enough to keep him on the floor. Continuing to improve attacking closeouts and adding strength long-term will help He’ll make sense for playoff teams in need of shooting.

Jeremy Woo's grade: D-

This is an extreme reach for the Suns, who are grabbing a player most teams expected to be available in the 20s here at No. 11 after trading down from No. 6. This is hard to explain — Johnson is one of the draft’s best pure spot-up shooters, but he’s already 23 years old. It feels like the Suns are drafting for need here, and this is an extremely high juncture in this draft to do that. Phoenix would seem to be trying to accelerate their rebuild, but this decision is questionable, given the way this draft seemed slated to fall. The choice itself makes some sense, but the execution here is the issue I have.

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